wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)
Aatma has a storyline flatter than Bipasha Basu's waistline. So, you end up having yet another lame horror film, that barely manages to spook you.Read more
Aatma - another horror film on the horizon? This is getting a bit much, isn't it? One horror film a week. If there were any room left to be immune to the typical horror movie spook tactics, it'll be taken care of if horror films are released at this rate. I realise, there is a very high chance of Aatma being different from the regular Hindi horror flick though. Hats off to the person who thought of Bipasha Basu and Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a couple! I was stumped at that.
In addition, you did wish death upon Bipasha Basu's character in Raaz 3. This time she's on the other side of the table. She's going to be the typical woman being spooked in almost every other horror film. The angle here is a little different. Other than Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing a spirit, the mother-daughter-father equation sounds extremely intriguing.
The music seems to have garnered mixed responses. Hopefully, the newer elements in the horror genre will make Aatma worth a watch.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Aatma leaves you with many questions. Why are most horror films all the same? Why are they oh-so-lame? Why do they have to involve an artist who's a child? Are horrified adults too mild? These are not rhetorics, they are genuine questions.
Aatma starts out, right from the trailers, with the premise of a dead dad wanting to be with his child. Aatma stays there pretty much right till the end. There is very little in terms of movement from this baseline. Sure, there are doctors, priests and murders, but they are pretty much predictable. And what's a horror film going to horrify you with, if you know what's going to happen next.
Without that as a support, the audience has to more or less rely on the performances to feel for or against the characters. Nawazuddin Siddiqui does invoke disgust and anger even before he's shown on the screen. However, taking nothing away from his acting effort, those negative emotions are more directly correlated with the characterisation. Again, once it is invoked, it stays put. You cannot but ignore the fact that there was a decent chance of revealing his intentions gradually, thus building the drama to a high. But well, they let that cat out in the promos itself.
Bipasha Basu does the drill of being a very scared, concerned mother. But, she can do only so much if the screenplay has her sleep away from her child who seems to be in fatal danger. At the risk of revealing a little detail, the said scene has Bipasha Basu's Maya sleep with her mom and be comforted by her and the daughter-in-danger is sleeping in another room!
And what about our concern for our child artists? Should any human be put through the ordeal of acting in roles that require them to be possessed and murder people brutally (Doyel Dhawan) - at age 6! And this is not specific to this film, or even just Hindi films, why should any child be put through first giving those performances and then watching themselves on the screen. What kind of a messed up race are we, if we need to use the tenderness of age to entertain us? (I can only hope that the said artists aren't allowed to watch such of their films until they are of age. But, I know that is highly unlikely.)
And the sad part is, it doesn't even spook us. We've seen it so many times over that we are now immune to possessed children. Oh well.
I am nit-picking then when I point out a "Whhaat?" moment, when I see a school teacher sitting on her desk, while teaching - one-leg-over-another in a short skirt! Yeah, petty me.
If I had to pick one positive in the entire film, it would be attempt at mood. The gloomy blues create the right atmosphere, even if it is pretty dark during day time. However, the background music and all the other elements bring the film down to below average.
So, a courtesy tip towards science and God later, the film and your miseries end. Aatma is short, and even if it is certainly not sweet, you thank the writers for small mercies.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Rahul Nanda, Filmfare : ...In terms of performances Nawazuddin steals the show. Although after his entry he goes missing for a large chunk of the first half his presence is felt even in small scenes. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Raju Nihalani, Rediff : ...Doyel's vulnerability in the school scenes -- where she is unable to respond and retaliate against an irritating classmate and an insensitive teacher -- remind me of Jugal Hansraj in Masoom... full review
So-So, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...AATMA does have a new subject to talk about in the horror genre but the same cannot be said about its treatment on the screen unfortunately.... full review
So-So, by Deboshree Ghosh, Bollywood Life : ...Do we even need to say anything about Nawazuddin. Make him a thug and he will steal you hearts; make him an apparition and he will vanish like a column of smoke, leaving an imprint on everyone.... full review
So-So, by Ankur Pathak, Desi Martini : ...The biggest problem with Aatma is that it sends across chills in independent scenes which are well crafted indeed and executed with remarkable subtlety; but none of it comes holistically together... full review
So-So, by Kritika Deval, fullhyd.com : ...So, there you have it. The beginning, the middle, and the ending, even before the latter two parts occur. All that is left is the scary bits - which are unevenly effective. ... full review
So-So, by Joginder Tuteja, Indicine : ... Instead of the focus being on the girl being possessed, there are various tangents thrown in as well, most interestingly being Nawaz’s chilling presence that indeed makes you wonder what he would do next.... full review
So-So, by Divya Solgama, MoviezADDA : ...Camera work is good and gives a stylish look to the film. Technically the movie is neat and clean. Editing is fine, but could have been much better.... full review
So-So, by Reel Reptile, Upper Stall : ...What sets Aatma slightly apart from the less-than-mediocre horror sagas made in India is the slick cinematography (Sophie Winqvist) and production design (Sukant Panigrahy), a combination of which creates a haunting-lullaby world within a bustling city. ... full review
So-So, by Resham Sengar, Zee News : ...But that does not imply that ‘Aatma’ is an excellent film. Rather it is more apt to say that it is an out-of-the-box film. The scary moments before the interval are more like foreplay.... full review
Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, Daily Bhaskar : ...The kid is a helpful trick still. There is nothing more chilling than something sinister brewing in the fuzzy head of an innocent looking child.... full review
Thumbs down, by Ameetbhuvan, Desi Martini : ...Director Suparn Verma packs in every cliche possible- from RGV's leg level camera angles to Vikram Bhats flying knives, cheap prosthetics, and even a soundtrack that converts a lullaby into a horror anthem.... full review
Thumbs down, by Ravina Rawal, FirstPost : ...For some inexplicable reason, a majority of the scenes open with Bipasha’s back to us. When she turns around, eight times out of 10, she’s wearing a slinky negligee that makes fans in the audience hoot and whistle. ... full review
Thumbs down, Free Press Journal : ...Despite the earnestness evidenced in the performances of the lead players, notably Bipasha, Doyel and Nawazuddin, there is little believability in this enterprise. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...But what does knock you is Nawazuddin's performance. This guy is simply amazing. Sadly, the same cannot be said of the rest of the cast or even of the script.... full review
Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, Hindustan Times : ...And at the centre of all this stands a heaving and crying Basu, clad through much of the film in well-fitting nightwear that seems a tad provocative for a woman battling a murderous ghost.... full review
Thumbs down, by Swati Deogire, In.com : ...Dramatisation is kept to a minimum and there are some frightful thrills, however you're struck by a constant sense of deja vu since most of the plot devices seem recycled.... full review
Thumbs down, by Fatema H Kagalwala, India Entertainment : ...The lead pair is an unusual pairing, and it isn’t milked to a distinct advantage except evoking the curiosity of watching two very distinct talents pitted against each other.... full review
Thumbs down, by Karan Anshuman, Mumbai Mirror : ...Although Basu and Siddiqui’s pairing is unconventional, it only works in spurts individually. Of course, Basu has been doing similar roles for a while now but Siddiqui shines in relatively new territory. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Thanks to Nordic director of photography Sophie Winqvist’s energetic camerawork and mood-inducing lighting, Aatma wears a unique look and feel. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Swati Rohatgi, STARDUST : ... It definitely can psychologically scare you when you don’t know what’s wrecking havoc. However, in case of Aatma, you get to know the entire story in the initial few minutes itself. T... full review
Thumbs down, by Anuj Kumar, The Hindu : ...The gifted Jaideep, as the police officer who apprehends the role of a spirit in murders even before the godman comes into play but does nothing about it, remains a curious cardboard.... full review
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